Posts Tagged ‘#memories’

“I have dealt with it” (whatever it is), we say.

Then we hear, we feel the creaking

of the door

to the past

and we are right back there again,

staring into the blackness

of that night, that day, that season.

That time we thought we had left behind a locked door,

never to see the light of day,

never again to pinch and pierce our hearts.

Through the opening flood memories.

There are good memories,

but they are shadowed by the bad, the ending,

singed by the fires that ravaged those joys with sorrow.

As if the light of those joys is forever dimmed

by the inferno that brought it all

to ashes.

How is it that though it is done, has been done and dusted now for years, the door still creaks open, letting the darkness of that time flood back, stealing today’s joys? And, let’s face it, we cannot but say,

why God? Why do you let my today be darkened by yesterday?

Then, I hear it …




Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

And I hear it.

I hear it with my ears, but I also feel it in my deepest parts,

the click of the door,

the slide of lock.

I feel the warmth of the light with me,

inside of me.

I am not alone,

for my Creator, my Redeemer is with me.

I can face, not just tomorrow, but yesterday too.

He will make all things new.


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Ordinary … synonymous for same old, uneventful, boring.

We humans love our adrenaline-filled, exciting, exceptional special events and days. We plan for them, count down for them, save money for them, fill our social media of images of them. They are the events of life!

Something that being 50 something does is that the event of life fade a bit more, as a longing begins to settle into our souls for memories of

just ordinary days.

As a mom, of course my mind goes to memories of breakfasts giggling over the snap, crackle, pop of cereal, or times snuggled in bed reading “Old Hat New Hat” for the bazillionth time, or driving in the van singing “This is the Song that Never Ends” as loud as we could with littles.

but …

there are just so many ordinary days … and I just cherish them all!

I recently was introduced to a song I was unfamiliar with and it seeped into my mind and had me playing it in my thoughts for hours til I just simply had to sit down and think some thoughts, to sit and remember …

ordinary day.

Memories of walking with my parents, swinging on their hands on an old dirt road.

Of sitting with my legs crossed, watching TV, under the quilt my grandmother was ‘kilting’ in her livingroom.

Of sitting in a classroom, in high school, watching notes being past across the aisles.

Of walking in a field, on a summer day, the smell of freshly cut hay filling my lungs.

Of driving in a little car with my husband, holding hands.

Of making a meal, and the taste of the savory flavors.

Of music playing down the hallway, and sneaking a peak at littles dancing in their bedroom.

Of a quiet room, filled with our three, noses firmly in their books.

Of laughter on a lunch break at work.

Of bowing my head in church, along with others, as we go to our life source together.

Of chatting with a stranger in the produce section of the grocery store.

Of lacing my runners to go for a walk.

So, so many

ordinary days.

These ordinary days … they are the ones that make up the majority of our days. They are the ones that rise in our memories when loved ones pass into the foreverland of eternity. They are the ones that make life worth living.

Maybe, these ordinary days are the ones we should look to value most.

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Isn’t it amazing how little things can take you off in search of something you didn’t even know you were looking for?

A simple social media post had me preoccupied and searching the other day … for over an hour.

The post is one I have seen a few times lately. An image of a person, in their garden, through a window, walking toward their house. What follows is a story, written by the adult child of that person, or their widow/widower. They share that the image is one taken by Google or Apple maps. These images are taken in the past, a year, or two or more ago. The person posting writes how they saved the image, for one day, they know, the address will be updated with a new image … and their loved one will not be in the updated image.

What they have saved is a live version,
of one who is no longer
in the window, the garden.

Well, my curiosity was peeked.

I started on my phone. Immediately finding an image of my childhood home, in summer, in the not too distant past. The care was still parked. The front garden full of growing activity.

Then I noticed the doors to the storage shed opened. I zoomed in for a closer look. The Rollator to the right of the doors. This was no longer a job for my phone. The laptop was opened, the search continued. I moved to look from different angles, zoomed in and out, checked out satellite views, even trying to peer into the back of the property from the street and through the houses behind.


I switched to another mapping website, to no avail.

Though I was not seeking, not needing to see my dad that day, the possibility of a live image of him had built up such a great hope of that possibility. After seeking unsuccessfully, I was rather disappointed. To only have had the opportunity to see him living again. To have had the joy of seeing him and smiling.

Deep down inside
we always seek
for our departed loved ones.
-Munia Khan

Then I remembered a video that I have, from my last visit home. He took my daughter and I to the maple sugar woods. Though I could not find the video, I could hear his voice, after tasting the syrup on the cold snow, “some good” with that characteristic sparkle in his eye.

I guess that once a loved one no longer lives and breathes life’s breath, those who loved are simply still seeking signs of life.

If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.

Yes, you’ve just walked on ahead of me
Don’t worry I’ll be fine

But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.

-Joyce Grenfell

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Seven days.

Seven mornings.

One week.

I lift the top of the jar, filled with paper.

Some lined.

Some floral.

Some shiny.

Some colored.

All of them with words.

That was their happy Mother’s Day gift to me last week, my three.

(because I had said, quite firmly, NO SPENDING MONEY ON ME!)

A glass jar filled with little pieces of paper … enough for one a day, for eight weeks.

Each piece of paper inked with quotes, memories, little tidbits of joy.


I head to the jar early each morning, while my coffee drips. Eagerly I lift the lid, reach inside (not looking, of course), pinch a paper between my thumb and index finger, lift the paper out of the jar. Then, not too fast, as I don’t want to rush the moment, I enfold the paper, til the words face me. It is then that I begin to read the words, hearing the voice of the writer. I smile, laugh, sigh … a few times tears form in the corners of my eyes.

This is the BEST GIFT EVER!

words speak … to the heart

The Bible reminds us of the value of our words, in many places:

“Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies.”
Proverbs 20:15

“Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.”
Proverbs 18:20

“A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
Proverbs 18:4

“Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 16:24

In this past week I have been so reminded of the encouragement in words, through this simply, inexpensive gift. The written word, especially, holds great weight, for it can be read again, and again, and again … replenishing the soul each time afresh.

Speak your words to those you love. Write your words of encouragement to one who holds a special place in your heart. Leave your words for others to read, to know of their value in your eyes … to know their value.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart”
William Wordworth

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… Lucille

and out of nowhere there it was again … grief.

The death of Kenny Rogers, the playing of his songs, brought grief back, in a flood of emotions and memories.

Grief does not have a lifespan, an expiry date. It does not respect the comfortability of others. It is something one learns to live with, knowing that, at any moment and for no apparent reason, it resurfaces with pent up energy and emotion … developing into tears and the loneliness for one who is gone.

At a certain stage in my dad’s life, Kenny Rogers (before Kenny’s facial plastic surgery) was his doppelganger. It just so happened that my dad also loved his music. He would sing along, attempting to duplicate Kenny’s distinctive husky voice.

My dad loved to sing. One of my memories of eye-rolling as a kid (along with the plaid shorts and the socks that went up to the knees … with the plaid shorts) was how my dad would finish our sentences with lyrics from songs.

It would go like this:

Mom: Don’t count your dirty money at the table …
Dad: They’ll be time enough for counting, when the dealings done

Mom: I was talking to Aunt Ruby this morning …
Dad: Ruby, don’t take your love to town

I have a sweet colleague at work who does this too … I think she might think I am making fun of her when she does it and I point it out, but I love that she does it for it always makes me think of my dad, makes me smile fondly.

It was hearing Roger’s song Lucille that really brought grief to the forefront. It was the words, you picked a fine to leave me, Lucille that did it.

Those of us who loved him are probably all feeling like you picked a fine to leave … We have stuff in our lives that … make us miss him more, lately. We miss him all over again.

At his funeral was a slideshow of photos from his life, our lives. One of the songs that played was Kenny Roger’s singing I will remember you

Dad, I know I am not alone in saying you picked a fine to leave … I miss you all over again …

You decorated my life
Created a world
Where dreams are a part
And you decorated my life
By paintin’ your love
All over my heart
You decorated my life

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If I hear it, I turn off the CD, the radio … and I seem to hear it so very often this Christmas season.

“I’ll be home for Christmas …. “

Having lived away from ‘home’ for most of my life, I have had years that I long for that childhood home for the holidays more than other years. This year is a bit different, for what I long for is not so much place, but time.

Seasons, such as Christmas, have triggers that can instantly thrust us into memories of the past.

Snow falling can take me back to snowy memories at Christmas time, when new toboggans, skates, hats and boots would be used. A clear, starry night can take me back to the wonder of searching the night sky for reindeer and Santa. Chocolates can take me back to the thrill of when the Ganong red box was brought out of the closet, signalling that Christmas truly had arrived. The concerts of the season put me back on a stage, as a child, reciting lines, singing Gloria in Excelsis Deo. The trees, the presents, the food, the events … all symbols of the season, all triggers in the mind to another time and place.

My favorite memories of Christmas’ past involve Christmas Eve at the my Gram Smith’s house. The meal, the family, the gifts that Santa had dropped off earlier that day 😉 … such sweet memories. Then there was the drive home, my eyes fixed to the skies for the light from Rudolf’s nose. Early on Christmas morning, when the sky was still ebony, we would be awakened by my dad, NOT trying to be quiet, as he moved through the house, hoping to awaken just one of us so that we could get the day started. The stockings, gifts, laughter … such sweet memories. After the gifts were opened the turkey would be prepared for the oven, but also that big red box of chocolates would come out, filling the plastic tree candy holder … and we would study the ‘map’ from the box to plan our one chocolate selection well (there was nothing worse than making a mistake and biting into a vanilla cream one). Then the gifts that were not toys would be organized back under the tree, in a different form of decoration. Later we would eat that traditional turkey dinner, complete with mashed potato (not bread stuffing) dressing, flavored with summer savory. Once filled to the gills, we would play games, make puzzles, enjoy our toys with family.

My memories of childhood Christmas’ have a rhythm, patterns of rituals that cemented the joys of tradition, family and celebration within my being. And I am so thankful to look back and be so thankful.

But, as I ponder and write about those traditions from the place and people I love, knowing that I will only be home for Christmas in my dreams …

I am also feeling rather ‘homesick’ of another kind, missing one of the heartbeats of my childhood Christmas memories. His absence makes me homesick for that place and time, but also for the Christmas celebration in eternity.

I really hope Saint Peter is a morning soul, for he will be awakened raucously this Christmas.

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place

Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

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